From Publishers Weekly
Danforth, a Missouri Republican as well as a lawyer and Episcopal minister, tended to avoid nasty partisan politics during his three terms in the U.S. Senate (with the notable exception of his defense of his protégé Clarence Thomas during U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings). After voluntarily retiring from the Senate in 1995, Danforth accepted appointments by White House Republicans, including ambassador to the United Nations and envoy for peace in Sudan. But the partisanship of President George W. Bush, a variety of other Republicans and quite a few Democrats has now led Danforth to urge political rivals to pull together to strengthen the United States, so the nation can in turn promote world peace. Danforth oozes sincerity and good sense as he excoriates "Christian conservatives" (naming James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, among others) for corrupting religious doctrine on reproduction and marriage and inappropriately inserting it in government. Conceding that he's an imperfect human being who sometimes failed as a student, husband, father, lawyer, minister and senator, Danforth comes across as a welcome paragon of virtue. (Sept.)
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*Starred Review* A former three-term Republican U.S. senator from Missouri and an ordained Episcopal priest, Danforth brings exceptional insight to the debate about the political use of religion and the separation of church and state. He worries that Republican courting of the Christian Right is distorting all notions of public and private morality. He laments that when Republicans voted to have federal courts overrule the state court in the Terri Schiavo case, violating long-held principles, it allowed the Christian Right to take over the party. Danforth urges more liberal and moderate Christians to challenge the presumptiveness of the Christian Right to speak for all Christians. Rather than construct a political agenda based on narrow interpretations of religious orthodoxy, Christians should focus an expansive faith in God that embraces conflicting opinions on a range of controversial issues, including stem-cell research and gay marriage. Danforth is honest in revealing his own struggles to maintain humility in seeking political consensus, and offers a primer for politicians to conduct themselves by Christian principles without dogmatic orthodoxy that ultimately divides the nation. This incredibly thoughtful book will give pause to readers of all political and religious beliefs. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved